50th Anniversary of the Historic Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon

“A grand attempt to reach beyond the world of mundane life and transcend the ordinary limits of human existence through accomplishment of the miraculous – a story of engineers who tried to reach the heavens.”
The Spaceflight Revolution, William Bainbridge

Fifty years ago, six hundred million people watched in awe as Commander Neil Armstrong took mankind’s first steps on lunar soil. For eight days, Apollo 11 carried Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin through space, as they made celestial observations that served as the foundation of previously inconceivable human exploration beyond planet Earth. For 21 ½ hours, Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Moon’s surface, gathering 47.5 pounds of Moon rocks to bring home, communicating back to Earth through thousands of miles of cosmic dust, and chronicling their experiences to share with the world. This milestone in human history marked an age of significant technological achievement, space exploration, and discovery, and inspired the world with possibilities of the future. This week, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon.

Since Armstrong’s famous words, “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” travelled thousands of miles from the lunar surface to Earth, there have been many new discoveries and conclusions regarding space, technology, and humanity. Astronaut-driven lunar rovers and other specialized equipment such as the Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET) enable astronauts to conduct longer, more in-depth geological surveys of different locations on the moon’s surface. Project Apollo, spanning from 1961–1975, not only accelerated scientific discovery, but also further developed society’s understanding of our own place within the cosmos. 50 years later, we ask ourselves: where do we go from here?

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). This new directive instructed the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to lead a program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.

In response to and in support of the vision expressed in SPD-1, the National Academies released a report that reviewed decadal and other community-guided lunar science priorities as context for NASA’s current lunar plans and evaluated the actions being taken by NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) to support lunar science. At the request of NASA PSD, the National Academies released a second report that explores plans for commercial partnerships, lunar infrastructure development, and related aspects of NASA’s lunar science and exploration initiative. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of one of the most important days in human history, and to learn more about innovations in space technology, read online or download our reports.

 

Report Series: Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science: Review of the Planetary Science Aspects of NASA SMD’s Lunar Science and Exploration Initiative

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). The new directive replaced original text in the National Space Policy of the United States of America and instructed the Administrator of the National …

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Report Series: Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science: Review of the Commercial Aspects of NASA SMD’s Lunar Science and Exploration Initiative

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). The new directive replaced original text in the National Space Policy of the United States of America and instructed the Administrator of the National …

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Exploring and Ensuring Election Security

Last week, Dr. Neal Kelly, authoring committee member for our report Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy, spoke to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology regarding voting technology vulnerabilities. Dr. Kelly is the registrar of voters for Orange County, CA and discussed the key findings of our consensus study report.

During his speech, Dr. Kelly presented observations from his position as registrar of voters for Orange County and the takeaways from our report. He identified the best voting practices used in Orange Country, discussed barriers in election security enhancement, and described the role of congress in guiding states and counties towards secure election processes. As one of the largest voting jurisdictions in the United States, Dr. Kelly notes that Orange County has been an ideal location to implement and evaluate pilot programs. He has been able to identify areas for improvement and apply actions towards correcting the holes in election security systems. He plays a critical role in promoting sound election security procedures.

Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy assesses the security of the U.S. election system. This report elaborates on the Russian government’s role in the 2016 election, discusses how specific heightened security measures can prevent similar threats, and offers insight to further develop secure election procedures for the future. To learn more, read the report online or download the PDF for free.

Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy

During the 2016 presidential election, America’s election infrastructure was targeted by actors sponsored by the Russian government. Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy examines the challenges arising out of the 2016 federal election, …

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Innovations in Interventions to Save Coral Reefs

Did you know that corals are animals, not plants? Coral reefs are beautiful, diverse, and essential to ocean and land life. However, these species are dependent on the stability of an increasingly unstable environment. Ocean life is vulnerable to destructive rises in ocean temperature, acidity, and sea level. This vibrant species now faces bleaching events, hindered growth, and a decreasing rate of calcification, in addition to persistent stressors that have threatened coral reefs for decades, such as overfishing and pollution. Climate change compounds these preexisting challenges. It is more important now than ever to reevaluate actions to protect our extraordinary and unique coral reefs before it is too late.

The National Academies recently released two reports that, in conjunction, describe, review, and contextualize different approaches to coral protection. A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs (2019) explores and assesses 23 different interventions, ranging from genetic, ecological, and environmental approaches. Our latest report, A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs (2019), builds upon our previous examination of coral reef interventions. It elaborates on the specific uses of different interventions, responding to questions regarding how, when, and where to use particular interventions for local reefs. These reports offer critical resources for coral managers and communities as they evaluate their specific needs and adapt a localized plan for the future. Both are free to download.

A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reef declines have been recorded for all major tropical ocean basins since the 1980s, averaging approximately 30-50% reductions in reef cover globally. These losses are a result of numerous problems, including habitat destruction, …

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A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are critical to ocean and human life because they provide food, living area, storm protection, tourism income, and more. However, human-induced stressors, such as overfishing, sediment, pollution, and habitat destruction have …

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Data Breach and Ransomware Attacks: Enhancing Resiliency and Safety

This week, a third-party medical billing collections company, American Medical Collection Agency, announced that they had experienced a data breach, exposing the personal and financial information of nearly 20 million LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics customers. At the same time, the City of Baltimore and the Philadelphia city court online system are struggling to respond and recover from ransomware attacks.

Breaches and attacks can be devastating to an individual or an organization. Anyone with important data stored on their computer or network is at risk, including government or law enforcement agencies and healthcare systems or other critical infrastructure entities. Beyond financial loss, the impacts of these actions can threaten personal reputations, national security, and even the safety of children.

Our publications discuss urgent issues related to the resilience of the nation’s computing and communications systems, including the Internet, commercial systems, and other critical infrastructures. All are free to read online or download.

Data Breach Aftermath and Recovery for Individuals and Institutions: Proceedings of a Workshop

In January 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted the Workshop on Data Breach Aftermath and Recovery for Individuals and Institutions. Participants examined existing technical and policy remediations, and they discussed possible new mechanisms for better …

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Beyond Spectre: Confronting New Technical and Policy Challenges: Proceedings of a Workshop

In 2017, researchers discovered a vulnerability in microprocessors used in computers and devices all over the world. The vulnerability, named Spectre, combines side effects from caching and speculative execution, which are techniques that have been used for many years to increase the speed at …

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Recoverability as a First-Class Security Objective: Proceedings of a Workshop

The Forum on Cyber Resilience of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted the Workshop on Recoverability as a First-Class Security Objective on February 8, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The workshop featured presentations from several experts in industry, research, and …

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Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System

Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, …

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Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy

During the 2016 presidential election, America’s election infrastructure was targeted by actors sponsored by the Russian government. Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy examines the challenges arising out of the 2016 federal election, assesses current technology and standards for …

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Software Update as a Mechanism for Resilience and Security: Proceedings of a Workshop

Software update is an important mechanism by which security changes and improvements are made in software, and this seemingly simple concept encompasses a wide variety of practices, mechanisms, policies, and technologies. To explore the landscape further, the Forum on Cyber Resilience hosted a …

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Foundational Cybersecurity Research: Improving Science, Engineering, and Institutions

Attaining meaningful cybersecurity presents a broad societal challenge. Its complexity and the range of systems and sectors in which it is needed mean that successful approaches are necessarily multifaceted. Moreover, cybersecurity is a dynamic process involving human attackers who continue to …

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At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy: Some Basic Concepts and Issues

We depend on information and information technology (IT) to make many of our day-to-day tasks easier and more convenient. Computers play key roles in transportation, health care, banking, and energy. Businesses use IT for payroll and accounting, inventory and sales, and research and development. …

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Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce?: Criteria for Decision-Making

Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce? Criteria for Decision-Making considers approaches to increasing the professionalization of the nation’s cybersecurity workforce. This report examines workforce requirements for cybersecurity and the segments and job functions in …

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Sequencing the Human Genome – Applications, Ethics, and Implications

In honor of National DNA Day, explore new technologies and treatments that have resulted from the sequencing of the human genome and their ethical, medical, and societal implications. As always, our publications are free to read online or download.

Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism’s genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an …

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Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing: Continuing the Global Discussion: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

On November 27-29, 2018, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the Royal Society of the United Kingdom, and the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong convened the Second International Summit on Human Genome …

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International Summit on Human Gene Editing: A Global Discussion

New biochemical tools have made it possible to change the DNA sequences of living organisms with unprecedented ease and precision. These new tools have generated great excitement in the scientific and medical communities because of their …

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The Promise of Genome Editing Tools to Advance Environmental Health Research: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

Advances in genome editing – the process for making precise additions, deletions, and alterations of DNA and RNA – have opened the door for studying biological mechanisms of health and disease. On January 10-11, 2018, the National Academies of …

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Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Scientific advances over the past several decades have accelerated the ability to engineer existing organisms and to potentially create novel ones not found in nature. Synthetic biology, which collectively refers to concepts, approaches, and …

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Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques: Ethical, Social, and Policy Considerations

Mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs) are designed to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases from mother to child. While MRTs, if effective, could satisfy a desire of women seeking to have a genetically related child …

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The Economics of Genomic Medicine: Workshop Summary

The sequencing of the human genome and the identification of links between specific genetic variants and diseases have led to tremendous excitement over the potential of genomics to direct patient treatment toward more effective or less harmful …

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Genome-Based Diagnostics: Demonstrating Clinical Utility in Oncology: Workshop Summary

Genome-Based Diagnostics: Demonstrating Clinical Utility in Oncology is the summary of a workshop convened in May 2012 by the Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health and the Center for Medical Technology Policy of the …

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Genome-Based Therapeutics: Targeted Drug Discovery and Development: Workshop Summary

The number of new drug approvals has remained reasonably steady for the past 50 years at around 20 to 30 per year, while at the same time the total spending on health-related research and development has tripled since 1990. There are many …

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Genome-Based Diagnostics: Clarifying Pathways to Clinical Use: Workshop Summary

The sequencing of the human genome and the identification of associations between specific genetic variants and diseases have led to an explosion of genomic-based diagnostic tests. These tests have the potential to direct therapeutic …

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Integrating Large-Scale Genomic Information into Clinical Practice: Workshop Summary

The initial sequencing of the human genome, carried out by an international group of experts, took 13 years and $2.7 billion to complete. In the decade since that achievement, sequencing technology has evolved at such a rapid pace that today a …

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Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop

Today, scores of companies, primarily in the United States and Europe, are offering whole genome scanning services directly to the public. The proliferation of these companies and the services they offer demonstrate a public appetite for this …

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Evolution of Translational Omics: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward

Technologies collectively called omics enable simultaneous measurement of an enormous number of biomolecules; for example, genomics investigates thousands of DNA sequences, and proteomics examines large numbers of proteins. Scientists are using …

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Mapping and Sequencing the Human Genome

There is growing enthusiasm in the scientific community about the prospect of mapping and sequencing the human genome, a monumental project that will have far-reaching consequences for medicine, biology, technology, and other fields. But how will …

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Capturing the Unobservable: The Future of Space Exploration

Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, via National Science Foundation

After years of analyzing data, a planet-sized network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope used radio waves to assemble the first image of a black hole. This remarkable accomplishment sets a new precedent for the future of space exploration. Our reports support these endeavors by providing recommended research priorities and strategies.

A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences Research at NASA

The 2011 National Research Council decadal survey on biological and physical sciences in space, Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era, was written during a critical period in the …

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Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced …

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NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities: Restoring NASA’s Technological Edge and Paving the Way for a New Era in Space

NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) has begun to rebuild the advanced space technology program in the agency with plans laid out in 14 draft technology roadmaps. It has been years since NASA has had a vigorous, broad-based program in …

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NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities Revisited

Historically, the United States has been a world leader in aerospace endeavors in both the government and commercial sectors. A key factor in aerospace leadership is continuous development of advanced technology, which is critical to U.S. …

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2017

The original charter of the Space Science Board was established in June 1958, three months before the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened its doors. The Space Science Board and its successor, the Space Studies Board (SSB), …

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The Space Science Decadal Surveys: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

The National Research Council has conducted 11 decadal surveys in the Earth and space sciences since 1964 and released the latest four surveys in the past 8 years. The decadal surveys are notable in their ability to sample thoroughly the …

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Resources to Improve Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. provided $91 billion in total disaster relief for weather events in 2018 – the 4th highest total cost behind the years 2017, 2005 and 2012. This includes one drought event, eight severe storm events, two tropical cyclone events, one wildfire event, and two winter storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 247 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. Our publications provide guidelines and resources for all stakeholders involved in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. All are free to download.

Emergency Alert and Warning Systems: Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions

Following a series of natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, that revealed shortcomings in the nation’s ability to effectively alert populations at risk, Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act in 2006. …

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Integrating Social and Behavioral Sciences Within the Weather Enterprise

Our ability to observe and forecast severe weather events has improved markedly over the past few decades. Forecasts of snow and ice storms, hurricanes and storm surge, extreme heat, and other severe weather events are made with greater accuracy, …

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Preparing for the Future of Disaster Health Volunteerism: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

On April 26, 2017, the Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies convened a workshop during a 4-hour session of the 2017 Preparedness Summit. Participants discussed potential characteristics of society in the …

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Regional Disaster Response Coordination to Support Health Outcomes: Summary of a Workshop Series

When disaster strikes, it rarely impacts just one jurisdiction. Many catastrophic disaster plans include support from neighboring jurisdictions that likely will not be available in a regional disaster. Bringing multiple stakeholders together from …

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Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery …

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Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation …

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Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response: Volume 1: Introduction and CSC Framework

Catastrophic disasters occurring in 2011 in the United States and worldwide–from the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to the earthquake in New Zealand–have demonstrated that even prepared communities can be …

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Crisis Standards of Care: A Toolkit for Indicators and Triggers

Disasters and public health emergencies can stress health care systems to the breaking point and disrupt delivery of vital medical services. During such crises, hospitals and long-term care facilities may be without power; trained staff, …

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Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal …

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Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice

Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety …

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Building Community Disaster Resilience Through Private-Public Collaboration

Natural disasters–including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods–caused more than 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from …

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Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop

Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half …

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World Water Day 2019

Today is World Water Day – a day to focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of safe drinking water for all. Our reports explore challenges and opportunities for improving water safety and availability. All are free to download.

Drinking Water Distribution Systems: Assessing and Reducing Risks

Protecting and maintaining water distributions systems is crucial to ensuring high quality drinking water. Distribution systems — consisting of pipes, pumps, valves, storage tanks, reservoirs, meters, fittings, and other hydraulic appurtenances — …

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From Source Water to Drinking Water: Workshop Summary

The Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine was established in 1988 as a mechanism for bringing the various stakeholders together to discuss environmental health issues in a neutral setting. The …

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Review of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Operations Support Tool for Water Supply

New York City’s water supply system is one of the oldest, largest, and most complex in the nation. It delivers more than 1.1 billion gallons of water each day from three upstate watersheds (Croton, Catskill, and Delaware) to meet the needs of …

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Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater

Expanding water reuse–the use of treated wastewater for beneficial purposes including irrigation, industrial uses, and drinking water augmentation–could significantly increase the nation’s total available water resources. Water Reuse

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Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences

New research opportunities to advance hydrologic sciences promise a better understanding of the role of water in the Earth system that could help improve human welfare and the health of the environment. Reaching this understanding will require …

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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for the United States

Cities have experienced an unprecedented rate of growth in the last decade. More than half the world’s population lives in urban areas, with the U.S. percentage at 80 percent. Cities have captured more than 80 percent of the globe’s economic …

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Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits

Chronic and episodic water shortages are becoming common in many regions of the United States, and population growth in water-scarce regions further compounds the challenges. Increasingly, alternative water sources such as graywater-untreated …

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Desalination: A National Perspective

There has been an exponential increase in desalination capacity both globally and nationally since 1960, fueled in part by growing concern for local water scarcity and made possible to a great extent by a major federal investment for desalination …

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Understanding Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater

In communities all around the world, water supplies are coming under increasing pressure as population growth, climate change, pollution, and changes in land use affect water quantity and quality. To address existing and anticipated water …

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Alternatives for Managing the Nation’s Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites

Across the United States, thousands of hazardous waste sites are contaminated with chemicals that prevent the underlying groundwater from meeting drinking water standards. These include Superfund sites and other facilities that handle and dispose …

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Water and Sustainable Development: Opportunities for the Chemical Sciences: A Workshop Report to the Chemical Sciences Roundtable

Experts in the areas of water science and chemistry from the government, industry, and academic arenas discussed ways to maximize opportunities for these disciplines to work together to develop and apply simple technologies while addressing some of …

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Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing Potential Health Effects

In the early 1980s, two water-supply systems on the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were found to be contaminated with the industrial solvents trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). The water systems were supplied …

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The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster Eight Years On: Resources to Improve Safety, Security, and Preparedness

This month marks the 8th anniversary of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan. This incident highlights the importance of creating a culture of safety and planning to assure that we are prepared even in situations beyond our expectations. Our reports address best practices and risk management at nuclear facilities, and emergency preparedness and public health response in the event of a nuclear incident. All are free to download.

Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants

The March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami sparked a humanitarian disaster in northeastern Japan. They were responsible for more than 15,900 deaths and 2,600 missing persons as well as physical infrastructure damages exceeding …

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Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety and Security of U.S. Nuclear Plants: Phase 2

The U.S. Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a technical study on lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident for improving safety and security of commercial nuclear power plants in the United States. This …

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Nationwide Response Issues After an Improvised Nuclear Device Attack: Medical and Public Health Considerations for Neighboring Jurisdictions: Workshop Summary

Our nation faces the distinct possibility of a catastrophic terrorist attack using an improvised nuclear device (IND), according to international and U.S. intelligence. Detonation of an IND in a major U.S. city would result in tens of thousands …

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Brazil-U.S. Workshop on Strengthening the Culture of Nuclear Safety and Security: Summary of a Workshop

On August 25-26, 2014, the Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN) and the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences convened the Brazil-U.S. Workshop on Strengthening the Culture of Nuclear Safety …

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Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage: Public Report

In response to a request from Congress, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Homeland Security sponsored a National Academies study to assess the safety and security risks of spent nuclear fuel stored in cooling pools and …

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Science and Technology for DOE Site Cleanup: Workshop Summary

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management is developing a technology roadmap to guide planning and possible future congressional appropriations for its technology development programs. It asked the National Research Council of …

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Distribution and Administration of Potassium Iodide in the Event of a Nuclear Incident

Radioactive iodines are produced during the operation of nuclear power plants and during the detonation of nuclear weapons. In the event of a radiation incident, radioiodine is one of the contaminants that could be released into the …

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Assessing Medical Preparedness to Respond to a Terrorist Nuclear Event: Workshop Report

A nuclear attack on a large U.S. city by terrorists–even with a low-yield improvised nuclear device (IND) of 10 kilotons or less–would cause a large number of deaths and severe injuries. The large number of injured from the detonation and …

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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time — it is now more certain than ever that humans are changing Earth’s climate. The evidence shows the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and other climate-related changes. Our reports emphasize the importance of 21st century choices regarding long-term climate stabilization through improving understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change and expanding the options available to limit the magnitude of climate change.

 

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that …

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Climate Change: Evidence and Causes

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes is a jointly produced publication of The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society. Written by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists and reviewed by climate scientists and others, the …

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Arctic Matters: The Global Connection to Changes in the Arctic

Viewed in satellite images as a jagged white coat draped over the top of the globe, the high Arctic appears distant and isolated. But even if you don’t live there, don’t do business there, and will never travel there, you are closer to the Arctic …

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Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change

As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. Climate models simulate such changes in extreme events, and some of the reasons for the changes are well …

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America’s Climate Choices

Climate change is occurring. It is very likely caused by the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities, and poses significant risks for a range of human and natural systems. And these emissions continue to increase, which will result in …

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